Why Do Dogs Bite in the First Place?
To protect you and your loved ones, it would be wise to determine some of the factors that may trigger a dog to bite in the first place. Dogs can bite for various reasons, from accidental playful bites to ferocious attacks. Because there are many reasons why a dog decides to bite, it’s essential to realize that no matter how friendly a dog may appear, you should not just assume it will not bite. Hiring a dog bite lawyer can help protect your legal interests.
Specific reasons why a dog may bite:
- The dog feels their territory or domain is threatened
- When a dog is startled or scared
- Not feeling well or injured
- The dog feels the need to protect their toy, food, or puppies
- A dog may playfully bite and still cause damage
Dog Bite Laws in Ontario – What You Need to Know
With the estimated number of dogs in Canadian homes as high as 7.6 million, a dog bite law in Ontario was established to protect the victims. This was not only necessary due to this high number of dogs but also because of the extreme consequences a victim may encounter from a dog bite.
When a dog bites an individual, they may not know the law and confusion can set in as to who is liable. The bottom line is that the Ontario Dog Owners’ Liability Act (DOLA) favours the victim. This is so, in most cases, even if the victim somehow provoked the dog. Dog bite lawyer in Toronto can help you understand Ontario’s dog bite laws & protect your rights.
DOLA was put in place to ensure that dog owners are taking the proper actions to get their dogs under control no matter the situation and to protect the rights of the victims. In addition, it names the dog owner liable for any damages and losses their dog may have caused.
Will I be Entitled to a Dog Bite Settlement?
Whether you were bitten in Whitby, Oshawa, Toronto, Vaughan, or other areas of Ontario, you will most likely be entitled to a settlement due to Ontario’s strict dog bite laws. DOLA states that you will not need to prove that the dog owner was negligent to be entitled to a fair settlement.
You may also be entitled to compensation if you were attacked by a dog but not bitten. You may be entitled to compensation under Ontario’s dog bite laws. Dog attacks, even when no biting is involved, can also result in significant physical and emotional damage. It would help if you were entitled to recover your losses for medical bills, lost wages, and any other damages caused by the dog attack.
Will I Need to Go to Court to Receive my Settlement?
Each dog bite claim has a different set of circumstances that can determine if you will need to take your claim to court. In many cases, going to court can be avoided because settlements may be received through the responsible party’s homeowner’s insurance.
Although insurance policies differ from company to company, dog bites outside the home at a local park may also be covered. However, an insurance company may apply restrictions that make it so bites from certain breeds, such as Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and other aggressive breeds, are not covered.
Even though it may not be necessary to go to court if the claim is settled through an insurance company, it would be in the victim’s best interest to hire an attorney. If you have been involved in a dog bite incident in Ontario, it’s important to understand your rights and protect your legal interests. Hiring a dog bite lawyer in Toronto can help you navigate the complexities of Ontario’s dog bite laws. A well-informed lawyer can present your case to the insurance company in a manner that can produce the best outcome regarding a dog bite settlement amount.
Situations where you may need to take your
claim to court:
- The pet owner does not have insurance and refuses to pay
- The owner claims you provoked the dog and therefore felt the settlement should be reduced
- You are not satisfied with the insurance company’s settlement offer
What Determines the Settlement Amount?
Dog bite ontario settlement amounts can vary drastically based on the extent of the attack’s damage. The payouts are typically no less than $10,000 and can average around $30,000. However, for those who suffer extreme injuries, the settlement amount can skyrocket to the hundreds of thousands, even reaching the million-dollar mark in some select cases.
What is accessed in determining the amount?
- The severity of the injuries
- If the injuries prevent the victim from functioning normally
- Medical bill expenses incurred
- Did the victim suffer economic losses such as time off from work
- Amount of insurance coverage available
- If the victim was the one who provoked the dog
What Steps Should be Taken After a Dog Bite?
If you have been bitten by a dog or involved in a dog attack in Toronto or Ontario. It’s essential to take specific steps to ensure that your dog bite claim produces the appropriate payout that reflects the injuries.
- Seek Medical Attention: Your health and safety are a priority, and seeking medical attention from the very beginning is a must. Even when a dog bite wound appears fine, it may lead to a severe infection. Furthermore, a doctor’s visit is crucial to your claim as it will provide the necessary documentation of the injuries.
- Identify the Dog Owner: Obtain the dog owner’s name and address as soon as possible after the attack. This information is needed to move forward with your dog bite case.
- Record all Details: Immediately after, create a write-up of the details you can recall. This would include what you were doing right before the dog attacked and how it played out, how long the attack continued, the level of pain that was experienced, and information on any witnesses who may have seen the attack happen.
- Take Pictures: Start a photo documentation of anything that may help your claim. This may be your physical injuries, torn or bloody clothing, etc.
- File a Report: It’s necessary to legally document your dog’s bite by filing a report. You may file a statement with the local police or animal control department.
- Contact an Attorney: Even if you are not taking your case to court, obtaining an attorney is recommended before speaking with the insurance company, if any. An attorney can speak on your behalf, armed with extensive knowledge of dog bite laws and settlement procedures.
Regardless of where in Ontario a dog bite occurs, the law provides dog bite victims with the support they need to successfully obtain the compensation they deserve. This law will help you with dog bite laws in Ontario. In addition, this law puts the dog owner’s responsibility first in dog attack cases, which may put the victim’s soul at ease. We hope this article on what steps to take when seeking compensation for a dog bite has cleared up any misconceptions you may have and pointed you in the right direction.
A dog bite can be a traumatic and stressful physical and emotional experience. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, it is important to know what steps to take to protect your rights and ensure proper recovery.
First and foremost, seek medical attention immediately. Even if the bite seems minor, it is important to have it examined by a medical professional to make sure there is no risk of infection and to administer the necessary treatment. Keep all documentation of the doctor’s visit, including medical records and bills, as they will be important for possible lawsuits.
After receiving medical care, report the incident to the appropriate authorities. In Ontario, dog bites should be reported to the local health department and animal control. You should also get information about the dog owner, including their name, address and contact information, as well as, if possible, the dog’s licence and vaccination information.
You should also gather evidence of the incident, including photos of the bite and the attack scene, names and contact information for witnesses, and any other important information. All of this information will be useful for any future legal proceedings.